1885 DAIMLER SINGLE TRACK MACHINE
The invention of the pedal-driven
velocipede in the mid-19th century inspired the concept of a motorized
two-wheeler, but though Michaux in France and Roper in the United States
experimented with steam-powered velocipedes, the idea failed to catch
Universal Power Source
but when Gottlieb Daimler built his first
internal combustion engine in the 1880's, he wanted a testing aground to prove
the potential of his "universal power source." An engine of just 26cc was
fitted into a crude bicycle made of wood; the machine had out-rigged steady
wheels and was christened "Einspur" ("single track").
It used petroleum for fuel and an ignition system in which a hollow
tube projecting into the cylinder was heated by a Burnsen burner: the
compressed gas/air mixture was forced into the tube on the compression stroke
and exploded. Having proved his engine on the crude Einspur, Gottlieb Daimler
moved on to horseless carriages that his engineer Willhelm Maybach ultimately
developed into the first Mercedes in 1901, shortly after Daimler's death.
Although the Einspur was really the grandfather of the Mercedes, it was also
the first gasoline-powered motorcycle.